The environment has always been a big part of the Greenangels philosophy. We were fortunate to grow up In rural Saanichton. We walked or biked to school, wandered fields, picked berries, chopped wood, planted gardens and belonged to 4-H. We felt part of our environment, part of the sky and the trees and the ocean and the earth. We took it for granted that it would always be the same. Never did we think of climate change or pollution.
Then we grew up and began to understand the issues around toxins in the air, in the rivers, in wildlife and in our own bodies. We learned about noise pollution, plastic in our oceans, drought, floods, ever more violent storms. And we learned about the extinction or near extinction of the species that share our world.
The past twenty five years have been an eye opener for the Greenangels and we’ve worked towards supporting the people and the organizations who have dedicated their hearts and minds to reversing some of the tragedies that face us now.
We live in the northwest, in the Gulf islands of British Columbia, in the middle of the Salish Sea. This area has been home to First Nations for over 10,000 years. They have lived here, hunted and fished, raised their families and have been stewards of the land and the ocean. Their belief in our connectedness with everything in nature is inherent. Whether it’s whales or trees or plants or a blade of grass, as long as it is a living entity, there is a connection. Nature is their family, an integral part of their community and their life’s blood.
We’ve gleaned so much from our friends amongst the First Nation bands. We turn to them for solutions to our environmental crisis because of their history and wisdom passed down from generation to generation in stories and songs and hands on guidance.
The Coastal First Nations have a deep connection with the ocean and particularly with whales. It is an awesome sight to see a pod of orcas, those beautiful, sleek black and white bodies gliding through the water. In past years, life has been unkind to them. Noise pollution, harassment by boaters and a dwindling salmon supply are three strikes against them.
The First Nation bands around the Salish Sea are working towards marine protection, patrolling the feeding grounds of the orcas in order to give them every chance to flourish. Many other organizations from British Columbia through Washington and Oregon and down to California have been researching and protecting whales, such as Pacific Wild, SeaDoc Society, Center for Whale Research, Pender Ocean Defenders and a number of others.
Another interesting and heartwarming organization is thewhaletrail.org, founded in 2008 to build awareness of the endangered southern resident orcas throughout their range. It is a series of locations where you can see whales, dolphins, or other marine mammals from shore. Read their story on our site.